2022 Monster Energy Supercross: Oakland Recap

Monster Energy Supercross Aaron Plessinger KTM

Supercross shifts from So-Cal to Nor-Cal for the week, as Oakland returns to the schedule. Last week it was Ken Roczen and Christian Craig lighting the candles in Anaheim to kick things off. This week, Roczen started out with a date with the whoop monster in qualifying. Despite favoring his wrist, he appeared good to go for the night show. Craig meanwhile, topped the speed charts in the 250 class for the second week in a row. His 450 compatriot Eli Tomac did the same in the 450 class.

Like in Anaheim as well. Oakland featured a pair of large whoop sections. One of which was situated before the final corner and finish line jump. How their state would change throughout the night program was one of the more interesting storylines. Another storyline, unfortunately, was that multiple riders were off the gate in Oakland due to COVID-19 Protocol.

Be sure to catch up on all of our Supercross coverage.


COVID/Injury Report

News got out on Friday that there were riders who would miss Oakland due to COVID. The biggest of which was Justin Brayton out of the MCR camp. Joining him would be his current teammate in Mitchell Oldenburg. His two children tested positive on Friday. Needless to say, we hope for nothing but the best for the Oldenburg family. The final rider out due to COVID is ‘Fast’ Freddie Noren. Despite testing positive, it sounds like he and Brayton should be good to go for sure next weekend.

Next up is an update on Jalek Swoll, who had a horrible get-off at Anaheim 1. He missed Oakland due to concussion symptoms, but there is some good news for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider. All signs indicate that he too will make his return next weekend. As for Colt Nichols, he indeed broke both of his arms in his Anaheim accident, as well as some skin burns. There is no timetable for his return but would not expect to see the 250 East Champion until outdoors.


Heat Racing Recap

250 West Class

Jo Shimoda and Michael Mosiman were in a dead heat to kick things off for the evening. It would be the Pro Circuit Kawi rider however who picked up the holeshot, before pulling out to a quarter-second lead. Mosiman then caught Shimoda with about 70 seconds left on the clock, before giving up the lead under 30 seconds later. Then the pair swapped the lead once again with the two to go signal up. That third lead swap would be the last of the race, with Mosiman, Shimoda, and Seth Hammaker rounding out the podium

Craig and Hunter Lawrence led the Heat 2 field out of the first corner before a dozen riders got tangled on the first tabletop. This allowed the front two, plus Garrett Marchbanks and Vince Friese to secure a nice gap on the rest of the field. Perhaps the biggest story of these 250 heats was the ‘Stank Dog’ Gared Steinke, taking the final transfer spot on a 125 two-stroke. Much to the delight of the Oakland Coliseum crowd mind you. Back at the front meanwhile. Craig was on cruise control from start to finish, winning over Lawrence and Marchbanks.

450 Class

Chase Sexton‘s speed from Anaheim transferred upstate after he beat out Jason Anderson for the 450 Heat 1 holeshot. Max Anstie also had a surprisingly great start but ended up going down in the middle of a flat corner. Malcolm Stewart was another ride with good speed for the second year in a row. Mookie was able to hunt down Anderson, but he went wide in the sand section and nailed a tough block. The good news was that Stewart only lost one spot by the end. Sexton picked up an impressive heat win, with Anderson and Aaron Plessinger in tow.

In Heat 2, Adam Cianciarulo, with a hurt shoulder and all, picked up his first holeshot of the year. Doing so over Shane McElrath, Tomac, and Roczen. The lead would only last so long, as ET3 turned on the afterburners and set sail on the entire field. Roczen would also get by Cianciarulo, as would Justin Barcia as well, just as the two to go came out. The final running order in Heat 2 would go ET3, Roczen, and Barcia. Alex Ray sadly had a big get-off early on and didn’t finish the Heat.


250 West Class Roundup

No. 28 Christian Craig- Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (1st Place)

If Craig can somehow keep this early pace up, this Championship will certainly be over with rounds in hand. He had to wait around a lap and a half to get by Shimoda, but once he did it was good morning, good afternoon, and good night. Craig, who had never won back-to-back Supercross Main Events now gets to check that box off. His dominating performance also caught the attention of Brayton, who had this to say about the current 250 West points leader.

Hard to argue with the MCR rider here. He looks better than he did a year ago, which was even a significant improvement on 2020. Hard to imagine that Craig will not have at least some factory teams calling his agent relatively soon.

No. 96 Hunter Lawrence- Honda HRC (2nd Place)

The elder Lawrence brother continues to show he is more than just ‘Jett’s brother’. Hunter now starts off 2022 with back-to-back podiums and was a good start away from potentially giving Craig a run for his money. Hard to imagine that this 250 West season comes and goes without Lawrence standing atop the box once. As of now, he is tied for second in points with Hammaker, eight back of Craig.

No. 49 Nate Thrasher– Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (5th Place)

Saturday was a nice rebound for Thrasher, who picks up his fourth career top-five Main Event finish. He also was able to qualify third during the day program, due to a strong showing in the final session. In totality, the Star rig should feel good about what Thrasher put together in Oakland. Now the goal should be doing this on a week-to-week basis here in year two.

No. 30 Jo Shimoda- Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki (7th Place)

It was another rough Main Event outing for Shimoda in Oakland, but it went down much differently than in Anaheim. He managed to pull a holeshot on Craig and lead the opening two laps. A bike stall effectively took him out of the hunt for the win, but the trouble didn’t stop there. Shimoda had a vicious endo in the whoops that could have been much worse. Luckily the Pro Circuit rider was ok and managed to bring it home in seventh. The problem now is he has dug himself in a big hole points-wise two rounds in.

No. 910 Carson Brown– AEO Powersports KTM Racing (13th Place)

Nice to see Brown make the Main Event last night, especially after a rough evening in Anaheim. the KTM rider took a lever to the face, losing him some teeth and in need of stitches. After that happened in his Heat last week, Brown made it into last night’s Main Event without needing the LCQ. While a finish better than what he got was on the table, this was a good building block for the No. 910.

250 West Class Oakland Top 10

1st No. 28 Christian Craig

2nd No. 96 Hunter Lawrence

3rd No. 47 Seth Hammaker

4th No. 29 Michael Mosiman

5th No. 49 Nate Thrasher

6th No. 62 Vince Friese

7th No. 30 Jo Shimoda

8th No. 34 Garrett Marchbanks

9th No. 66 Chris Blose

10th No. 69 Robbie Wageman

450 Class Roundup

No. 21 Jason Anderson- Monster Energy Kawasaki (1st Place)

It doesn’t feel like hyperbole to say Saturday’s Main Event was the best of El Hombre’s career. He looked silky smooth on a track that was anything but for 20 minutes and change. Once he got by Cianciarulo for the lead, Anderson put on an encore of what Craig did about a half-hour prior. His efforts were not only good for career win No. 8 but his first since March of 2018. If Anderson wasn’t taken out at Anaheim, he would almost certainly be the points leader. For now, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider sits three points out.

No. 7 Aaron Plessinger- Red Bull KTM (2nd Place)

The lack of Plessinger mentions last week was not by accident, as he didn’t have the greatest debut with Red Bull KTM. In good news for himself and the team, Oakland was considerably better than Anaheim. While he didn’t take home his first Main Event win, Plessinger did take home his second career podium. Showing up to his post-race interview donning the Red Bull KTM Cowboy hat. Feel like there is money to be made with those, but that is neither here nor there.

No. 51 Justin Barcia- Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing (3rd Place)

Back-to-back third-place finishes have now given Bam Bam the 450 points lead two rounds in. One of his keys to being a title contender was to be more consistent, and so far he gets an A+ in that department. Barcia had to fight for the final spot on the podium as well. He held off a couple of surges from Tomac before building up enough of a gap to secure third place. His points lead is only three over Anderson and Cooper Webb, but Barcia is in an excellent spot. He is the only rider to podium in both rounds in the 450 class as well.

No. 3 Eli Tomac- Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (4th Place)

Still no podium, but there was a visible improvement for Tomac from round one to round two. ET3 topped the speed charts in both individual qualifying sessions, before going on to take a rare Heat Race win. What ultimately bit him in the Main Event was a brutal start, but Tomac was able to slice and dice through the field. Ultimately, he couldn’t crack a podium spot, but much more to like this weekend with Tomac.

No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis– Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (6th Place)

A bike stall in Anaheim is what did Ferrandis in, but like his teammate, was able to rebound big time in Oakland. The Frenchman managed to turn a start in 13th into what was almost a top five-night. On a track that was pretty tough by most metrics, that’s pretty impressive. With the results trending upwards, look for Ferrandis to aim for a podium at some point on this west coast swing.

No. 9 Adam Cianciarulo- Monster Energy Kawasaki (12th Place)

You have to feel for AC here. It’s abundantly clear that he is well under 100-percent, but he is still giving an honest effort for the Kawasaki team. Even with the shoulder injury, Cianciarulo managed a Main Event holeshot and led in the opening portion of the race. Just like in Anaheim, however, the pace dropped with each passing lap, dropping to outside the top 10 for the evening. If the shoulder wasn’t an issue, Cianciarulo would be a factor in the early goings of this Championship.

No. 94 Ken Roczen- Honda HRC (13th Place)

Not what Roczen and the HRC rig were hoping for this weekend. The Anaheim 1 winner had another date with the whoop monster in the Main Event, only this time it was in the section before the finish. After he dusted himself off, Roczen settled in around 15th and only was able to make up a couple of extra spots on Saturday. Again, not ideal, but better for this to happen now, rather than down the stretch.

450 Class Oakland Top 10

1st No. 21 Jason Anderson

2nd No. 7 Aaron Plessinger

3rd No. 51 Justin Barcia

4th No. 3 Eli Tomac

5th No. 27 Malcolm Stewart

6th No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis

7th No. 1 Cooper Webb

8th No. 25 Marvin Musquin

9th No. 23 Chase Sexton

10th No. 15 Dean Wilson

Week 2 PulpMX Fantasy Supercross Lineup

250 West: Jo Shimoda (All-Star +4), Nique Thurry (+5), Carson Mumford (+4), Carson Brown (+10) 

450 Class Lineup: Eli Tomac (All-Star +4), Jason Anderson (No Handicap), Justin Bogle (+10), Kyle Chisholm (+13)

FFL: Christian Craig (No good)

Now it is back to So-Cal, but San Diego instead of Anaheim this go around. Lots of interesting storylines to sort through two rounds in. Especially in this 450 class as things get sorted out in the points. The top nine riders in points are all under a 10 point blanket. Don’t know how long this will last, but it is very entertaining here in the early goings.

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Main Image via KTM


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Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
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